Microsoft exec avoids confirming Vista release

We should start off by saying that this could be nothing but cautionary corporate-speak, but rather than confirming the scheduled January ship date for Windows Vista -- which is what everyone at the company's annual analyst meeting wanted to hear -- Microsoft exec Kevin Johnson seemingly opened up the door to fresh delay rumors by telling attendees that the beleaguered OS will be released "when it is available." Johnson's comments came as a response to analysts who wanted to know if Vista was still on track for a January release; instead of a simple "yes," however, he told the group that "we are going to ship the product when it is ready, and we are going to take it milestone by milestone." Now, what sounds like a non-denial of further delays could simply be part of a new policy to avoid making specific promises, but following Bill Gates's recent "statistical analysis" that Vista is only 80% likely to ship in January, this development is troubling to say the least. At this point we don't really know what to expect anymore, and since our current XP-powered setup already does everything we need it to, we're getting pretty close to not caring if Vista is ever released at all.